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Lengua Estofado

Filipino Stewed Beef Tongue in Sweet Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

3 lbs beef tongue
salt for cleaning tongue
warm water for salt solution (enough to cover tongue)
8 cups water (for boiling)
1 tbsp table salt
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 yellow onion (quartered)
1 head of garlic (peeled and smashed)
1 carrot (peeled and sliced into 1" pieces)
1 leek (white and green parts, sliced lengthwise then into half)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
2 bay leaves

2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup dry sherry or Xiao Shing cooking rice wine (sub: dry white wine)
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 medium yellow potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces)
8 oz white button mushrooms (sliced - about 2 cups)
6-oz jar (1 cup) of pimento-stuffed green olives (sub: plain pitted green olives)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 cup frozen peas

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Instructions



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Pre-Cooking the Tongue:

Take a whole beef tongue, we try to get one that's about 3 lbs. total, place it in a nonreactive bowl like glass or stainless steel, and sprinkle generously with salt and rub it thoroughly with salt.

Add enough warm water to cover the salt-covered tongue, and let it soak in this salt water for 1 hour. This helps to clean the tongue and remove any blood from the tongue.

After 1 hour, drain and discard the salt water and any accumulated scum, and rinse the tongue thoroughly with clean water.

Take a large pot (we use our 5.5-quart Dutch oven for this) add in 8 cups of new water and add in the cleaned beef tongue. Add in1 tbsp of table salt, 1 tbsp of black peppercorns, 1 yellow onion that's been quartered, 1 head of garlic that's been peeled and smashed, 1 carrot that's been peeled sliced into 1" pieces, 1 leek - just the white and green parts - sliced lengthwise and then cut into half, 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, and 2 bay leaves.

Bring this mixture to a boil on medium-high heat. Once it's boiling, cover with a lid but keep it partially uncovered for steam to vent, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook the tongue till it's tender. This will take about 2 hours. Flip the tongue over after 1 hour (at the halfway point) for even cooking.

Remove the tongue from the pot and save 3 cups of the broth and set it aside. You can discard the boiled aromatics and save the remaining broth to use as a beef/vegetable stock in other dishes.

Let the tongue cool slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, slit the skin open and peel it off. The skin is easier to peel off when it is still warm. Then cut the tongue crosswise into 1/2"-thick slices, sized about 1 to 2 inches in length.

Preparing the Stew:

Wash and dry the large pot (we use our 5.5-quart Dutch oven) for use again, and heat it over medium-high heat. Add in 2 tbsp of olive oil.

When the oil is hot, add in 6 cloves of minced garlic, 1 yellow onion that's been minced, and 2 tbsp of tomato paste. Sautee for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions soften and are slightly browned.

Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of dry sherry or Xiao Shing cooking rice wine (sub: any dry white wine), scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let it simmer till most of the liquid has cooked off, about 1 minute.

Add 1 can (14-oz) of diced tomatoes and 3 cups of the reserved broth in which the tongue was cooked, 2 tbsp white vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/4 cup cornstarch, and 2 packed tbsp of dark brown sugar. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch and sugar. Add in the slices of tongue and 3 medium-sized yellow potatoes that have been peeled and sliced into 1/2" pieces, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once it begins to simmer, cover with a lid but keep it partially uncovered for steam to vent, turn down to medium-low heat, and let it gently simmer for 45 minutes to cook the potatoes.

After 45 minutes, the sauce should be thickened. Add in 8 oz of white button mushrooms that have been sliced (about 2 cups), 6 oz-jar (about 1 cup) of pitted green olives stuffed with pimento with the liquid drained (sub: plain pitted green olives), 1 red bell pepper that has been diced, and 1 cup of frozen peas. Mix till everything is well combined.

Let it come to a simmer and continue to simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Serve over steamed rice. Enjoy!

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